Will NFL investigate Steelers for “overt lying” on injury report?


Violations of the rules regarding injury reporting usually happen when a team conceals a player’s health issue. Rarely does anyone get in trouble for reporting a fake injury, or for exaggerating a mild one.

The Steelers land in that unusual category, if Monday’s Antonio Brown bombshell is accurate (and there’s no reason to think it isn’t). So apart from the question of what the Steelers will do about Brown, it’s important to ask what the NFL will do about the Steelers.

As one league source has observed, “overt lying” on the injury report is a much bigger problem than Brown’s antics, because shenanigans with the injury report speak to competitive issues, about which the league office should be very concerned. It’s unknown whether the league office actually is concerned or will take action; the NFL has not responded to an inquiry from PFT regarding the situation.

Whatever happens and however it plays out, the Keith Butler/Tyler Eifert coverup suddenly pales in comparison to what apparently was a deliberate decision to hide the dysfunction by brushing off Brown’s absence from practice and from Sunday’s game as the product of an injury, when in fact there was no injury — or at a minimum no injury that would keep Brown from playing.

The motive for hiding the truth is obvious. The Steelers didn’t want yet another distraction or disruption as they faced a must-win game. And if word had emerged that Brown had: (1) thrown a football at Ben Roethlisberger; (2) stormed out of practice; and (3) not shown up for practice on Thursday or Friday, it would have been a HUGE distraction and disruption from preparations for Week 17.

The huge distraction and disruption has now arrived, but the Steelers have nothing else to currently do. Coach Mike Tomlin will still have to address the situation, since his end-of-season press conference will happen on Wednesday.

Unless he decides to not show up.

32 responses to “Will NFL investigate Steelers for “overt lying” on injury report?

  1. The injury reports are a joke – look at Luck’s ones 2015-2017, Sherman before he left Hawks. Yet Belichick was fined for failing to report a player with a minor 1/2″ cut finger caused changing by a car wiper blade at the practice training facility’s car park. Even though it had no impact on the player’s ability. Yes, the league hates Belichick that much. And that, salty hater, is why Belichick now lists every little thing – and why you ignorantly get salty over him doing that too.

  2. a lot of people knew this was a lie, a lie that could be used to manipulate all kinds of betting schedules. Everyone who knew and didn’t speak up should be suspended for the entire season. No exceptions. And no draft picks. Steelers have played dirty for long enough. This is the last straw. Someone has to step up and send a strong message.

  3. Punishment should be: fire Tomlin and replace with Hue Jackson! Rooney Rule satisfied, it’s all good lol

  4. “As one league source has observed, “overt lying” on the injury report is a much bigger problem than Brown’s antics, because shenanigans with the injury report speak to competitive issues, about which the league office should be very concerned.”

    LOL injury reports are for Vegas.

  5. The Steelers cheating? Well, that’s not news. Maybe this time they’ll be fined and lose a draft pick like when they lost their third-round pick in the 2001 draft and were fined $150,000 for circumventing the salary cap. It’s two different cases, but this current dysfunctional team deserves it.

  6. The NFL wants to earn more money by requiring sports gambling to use official league data to ensure the integrity of the game. Will gamblers be able to recover their losses when that official data is inaccurate/untrue? The NFL can’t even ensure the integrity of the game for things they have full control over.

  7. Roethlisberger claims that he “sure didn’t see” Brown’s alleged hissy fit, unsuccessfully reached out to Brown about his absences and did not know anything concrete about not having Brown for the game against the Bengals. Obviously the team is intent on minimizing the public damage caused by the situation, perhaps fearing the backlash from those who bet the 14 point spread on the game. The failure to disclose the dispute and the team’s intentional coverup cries out for a severe penalty by the league to prevent state and federal lawmakers from intervening. For instance, sports gambling is now legal in Pennsylvania so the intentional withholding of critical information may trigger legislative imposition of criminal sanctions. The Steelers just opened Pandora’s box that the league will try to close with severe sanctions.

  8. It didn’t take long for the Patriots’ whine and cheese crowd to start chiming in.

    The problem with the NFL is that there isn’t any consistency when it comes to disciplining teams, owners, and players. I don’t know if it is because they have their favorites or if they are just totally inept when it comes to consistent discipline.

  9. This is a PR strategy. Another offseason, another Stealers drama. Name a season where there was not a star Stlr player (or coach) involved in offseason drama. Its how they controll what is written. Patrioughts do the same thing. Players (some, anyway) are in on it. Draws team closer while they laugh at the hypercoverage.

    More likely than not, Stlrs enter next season with much more cap space than this year, have a nice draft and a healthier A Brown. LeVeon Bell is still a Stlr, too. Think he might play for third year francise money, which the Stlrs could have? Can’t rule it out.

  10. Well, it’ll be yet another opportunity for Coach Tomlin to tell everyone, piously, that he takes “full responsibility” for something.

    And really, it’s easy to take “full responsibility” for just about anything when there are exactly zero consequences for whatever it is.

  11. They may get fined, and they probably should. However, they aren’t going to take draft picks away. The injury reports are for betting only. Why else would a team voluntarily tell the opposing team whose injured? It was announced early that he was having the knee looked at, what’s the difference if they said we don’t know if he will play because he’s being a Diva? Same outcome, he didn’t play. NOW, had they said nothing at all, then all of a sudden he doesn’t play, yes, at that point I could see a very stiff penalty. After all, bettors need to know. Lol

  12. Seems like Tomlin is running a sloppy ship these days. Can’t control his “stars”. Started with Leveon Bell and now Brown. Look what firing Hue Jackson did for the Browns. Gregg Williams made everyone accountable and didn’t tolerate the BS. Time for a change in Pittsburg?

  13. I know for a fact that the Pittsburgh team is not the first to do this – this is routine in New England and in Seattle. I think if you want to go after the Steelers, then you might be surprised at how dirty the other teams are with regard to this.

  14. Only the Patriots and Jerry Jones get disciplined by the NFL. Everybody knows that. The only problem is sports gambling is now legal in some states and the Steelers were favored by 14. Lying about AB just got A LOT more serious and could have legal implications outside of the league.

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